“Sister Wives” is headed for their big season finale, and lots are riding on how TLC spins a network labeled reality show that has recently been uncovered as far from transparently truthful. TLC has had two weeks to pull out their most skilled damage control efforts to explain the Brown wife-swap cover up, and while viewers brace themselves for the ‘real story’ behind Robyn elbowing Meri out of her only legal wife spot, social media banter is revealing a whole new level of audience manipulation.
All About the Tea earlier reported that the highlighted two episode research project, conducted by anthropology students, Richard Reynolds and Antoinette Izzo has been proven a complete fake, as evidenced by Izzo’s own admission that there was no written research ever recorded, or submitted to UNLV.
There is no doubt that TLC, the Browns, UNLV, as well as the students, led viewers to believe that this effort was indeed an official grad school project. The endeavor was sold hard as a high brow effort to study the complex workings of a polygamous family.
It wasn’t until both students’ conclusions were revealed as overwhelmingly pro-Sister Wife, did something begin to smell of a shady collaborative whammy being pulled. In the following video clip, the Browns and the UNLV students meet to discuss the project preliminaries for the nature of the “study.” Kody mentions he hopes their “findings” will be supportive of his family.
Social media responded, with lots of buzzing about this alleged project, and All About the Tea’s attention was brought to a Facebook exchange between Reynolds and skeptical viewers, which allegedly resulted in an effort by UNLV to run like the wind from the bogus research. Reynolds begins by excitedly inviting the viewers into a discussion, clearly pumped about his reality television debut.
A poster stepped into the ongoing group chat, and hit it out of the park when he nailed Reynolds to the wall, and exposed Reynolds’ Brown oriented study as complete farce.
“I didn’t watch the show but would like to know: What was your purpose of observing the Browns? What role will this project play toward your master’s degree?”
Richard Reynolds responds,
“[name redacted] good question and the answer to ‘What role will this project play toward your master’s degree?’ is absolutely nothing…this was not a research project of any kind…and the ‘purpose of observing the Browns’ was just curiosity….just like the rest of their fans.”
If this whole contrived scenario was not being portrayed as a research project of ANY kind…. WHY did the students need to meet for those obnoxiously high brow strategy and debriefing sessions with the UNLV professor? The inquisitive poster continued to question Reynolds’ motives, and matches intellectual wits with the shady scholar.
“So you have made clear you embarked on this project out of curiosity and without agenda. So what what was the point? I think it’s a reasonable expectation for viewers to learn something anthropologically related about the Browns.”
“If it had nothing to do with your research, a cynic is left to wonder if you appeared on the show just to be on TV and advance a positive message on behalf of plural marriage.”
Reynolds asserted that he had no plural wife agenda to push, forgetting that he had already labeled naysayers as “off their rockers’, on the show. Richard Reynolds responds:
“[name redacted] another good point…as a cynic myself and someone in a monogamous relationship for the past five years (and all the other relationships I have had in my life) I have no positive message to push on plural marriage.”
The “inquisitive poster”continued drilling Reynolds for answers,
“[name redacted] What training do you have as an anthropologist? If this wasn’t scientific in development, what was the point in portraying yourselves as anthropology students? By stating you are graduate students implies your 4 day visit was scientific in nature.”
Reynolds had no answer for this question, and avoided the hot seat by responding to less challenging poster. The “inquisitive poster” later followed up, and claimed that a rep fromUNLV had privately contacted him, assuring him that they were working to distance themselves from the unfolding controversy, clearly being revealed as a misleading and manipulative debacle. This alleged communication was apparently one-sided, with the “inquisitive poster” asserting that he had not reached out to the university in any way.
A different Facebook poster summed up the likely collective motive perfectly.
“[name redacted] great questions: however I see that the students was nothing more than a stunt to calm viewers before the next big blow in a family that really thought they worked however they failed as seen on T.V.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself! What will TLC try and sell an increasingly skeptical audience, to bring them back to believing this hot mess of a ‘family’ that appears to be falling apart?
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Becca is a Senior Editor for All About The Tea. She’s a coastal girl who loves the outdoors, and writing about the sneaky and silly side of reality TV. Her bio is short, but her snark is endless. She loves writing for the sharpest posters in the world.